Collaborative publication in the EMBO Journal

Our collaborative work with Dr. John Wyrick at Washington State University on the induction of UV photodamage of DNA by the gene insulator protein CTCF was published in the EMBO Journal. We are additionally thrilled that the article was featured in Molecular and Cellular Oncology. We are grateful to Dr. Wyrick’s his team for the opportunity to translating our expertise in transcription factor biophysics to DNA damage.

New publication on ETS/DNA selectivity featured in PCCP

We are thrilled that our new paper in Phys Chem Chem Phys was featured in the journal’s 2021 HOT Articles collection. This work combined experimental thermodynamics and computations to illustrate how dynamics in sidechains away from the DNA binding interface can modulate nonspecific binding, thereby controlling target selectivity. As always, we are grateful to Dr. W. David Wilson’s group for being wonderful experimental partners in our investigations.

Collaborative article on PU.1-mediated immunity

We are thrilled that our efforts in a multi-center collaboration led by Dr. Neil Romberg at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia has been published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine. This work advances our knowledge of PU.1 all the way from fundamental biophysics to patient outcomes. We are grateful to Dr. Romberg’s leadership and look forward to continued success in leveraging molecular insights into biomedical advances.

New publication in Biophysical Journal

Congratulations to Van for our first paper in the journal of the Biophysical Society. This work marks a major effort in our group to combine volumetric and molecular dynamics simulations to understand the role of solvent in the selectivity of DNA minor groove binding. Our model compound, DB1976, has been gaining increasing attention for its therapeutic potential as a PU.1 inhibitor in leukemia, rheumatologic, and obesity-related liver disorders. We are grateful, as always, to Dr. Dave Boykin and his fantastic synthetic group for making this unique compound available.

New publication in Sciences Advances

Congratulations to Suela and all the co-authors for a major publication in Sciences Advances. This paper unveils a new self-regulatory mechanism by PU.1, a divergent member of the ETS family of transcription factor. PU.1 is a key mediator in an emerging number of series illnesses including leukemia, organ fibrosis, and obesity-related liver disease.

We are very grateful to our collaborators, Drs. Markus Germann and Siming Wang here at GSU as well as Dr. James Aramini at CUNY for their contributions that made this possible. Link at Science Advances.

Mechanism of target selection by an ETS protein solved for the first time in JBC

Congratulations to Ken and Suela as co-first authors on a joint molecular dynamics/experimental paper that elucidates the mechanism of target DNA selection by the paradigm ETS-family transcription factor, ETS-1. This is, in our view, a major achievement in the ETS field as the first mechanistically complete description of target selectivity by any ETS family member. Ken also showed off his artistic abilities in making the cover in the upcoming issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry that will carry this work.

A new look at DNA end-binding

Binding at the ends of DNA is an important area of debate in ligand-DNA interactions. Historically, end-binding is determined by model-specific analysis, subject to any number of a priori assumptions about the nature of binding. A new joint work with Dr. W. David Wilson’s group has for the first time examined the phenomenology of end-binding, as measured by fluorescence spectroscopy, by a vigorous model-independent approach. We used the ETS transcription factor, ETV6, as model and quantified its binding to DNA ends as a function of sequence length, identity, and salt concentrations. Congratulations to Tam from David’s lab for the high quality data that made this study possible!

New Nature paper

We are very pleased that an international collaborative effort in understanding the mechanism of tissue fibrosis has been published in Nature. This is a landmark paper that establishes PU.1 expression outside the hematopoietic system as the molecular lesion underlying a broad range of peripheral fibrotic diseases. We are grateful to Dr. Andreas Ramming’s leadership in this landmark study and look forward to continuing our contribution to this exciting line of research. Get the article.

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